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J Med Internet Res. 2019 Feb 19;21(2):e11505. doi: 10.2196/11505.

Novel Approach to Inpatient Fall Risk Prediction and Its Cross-Site Validation Using Time-Variant Data.

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Inha University, Incheon, Republic of Korea.
National Health Insurance Service Ilsan Hospital, Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea.
Bundang Seoul National University Hospital, Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea.
The Center for Patient Safety Research and Practice, Division of General Internal Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, United States.



Electronic medical records (EMRs) contain a considerable amount of information about patients. The rapid adoption of EMRs and the integration of nursing data into clinical repositories have made large quantities of clinical data available for both clinical practice and research.


In this study, we aimed to investigate whether readily available longitudinal EMR data including nursing records could be utilized to compute the risk of inpatient falls and to assess their accuracy compared with existing fall risk assessment tools.


We used 2 study cohorts from 2 tertiary hospitals, located near Seoul, South Korea, with different EMR systems. The modeling cohort included 14,307 admissions (122,179 hospital days), and the validation cohort comprised 21,172 admissions (175,592 hospital days) from each of 6 nursing units. A probabilistic Bayesian network model was used, and patient data were divided into windows with a length of 24 hours. In addition, data on existing fall risk assessment tools, nursing processes, Korean Patient Classification System groups, and medications and administration data were used as model parameters. Model evaluation metrics were averaged using 10-fold cross-validation.


The initial model showed an error rate of 11.7% and a spherical payoff of 0.91 with a c-statistic of 0.96, which represent far superior performance compared with that for the existing fall risk assessment tool (c-statistic=0.69). The cross-site validation revealed an error rate of 4.87% and a spherical payoff of 0.96 with a c-statistic of 0.99 compared with a c-statistic of 0.65 for the existing fall risk assessment tool. The calibration curves for the model displayed more reliable results than those for the fall risk assessment tools alone. In addition, nursing intervention data showed potential contributions to reducing the variance in the fall rate as did the risk factors of individual patients.


A risk prediction model that considers longitudinal EMR data including nursing interventions can improve the ability to identify individual patients likely to fall.


across sites validation; electronic medical records; inpatient falls; nursing dataset; predictive model

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